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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), German philosopher. Hegel referred to reality as the Absolute Spirit. He stated that the Absolute Spirit had a rational internal structure and that it manifested itself in nature and human history. He also claimed that the mind was a developmental stage of the soul. As the soul developed it gained consciousness. He taught that consciousness itself passed through stages, going from sensual consciousness to perceptual consciousness and intellect. Hegel was a major influence on subsequent philosophers & psychologists, including Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx.
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